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Dec 29, 2020

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


In today’s special episode of RIMScast, Justin Smulison is joined by a former co-worker from early in his career — Kate Fazzini! Kate is the CEO of Flore Albo; a strategic cybersecurity communications firm that is focused on simplifying the biggest education, training, and awareness challenges in the industry. You may remember Kate from her years as a reporter for CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, or, more recently, as a presenter during the ERM Virtual Conference 2020. She is also the author of the 2019 non-fiction book, Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime.


In their conversation, Justin and Kate discuss cybersecurity and resilience, specifically shining a light on the cybersecurity stories that are impacting governments and businesses today. Kate shares her insights on the Google outage, the New York State DMV phishing scam, the December government agencies hack, and more. She also gives her advice on what risk leaders can do to mitigate these risks, as well as establish the messaging of their organization post-breach. This conversation is incredibly timely so don’t miss out!


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMS’ Global Membership.

[:27] About today’s episode.

[:38] Current RIMS features, offerings, news, and events.

[1:31] More about today’s episode with Kate Fazzini.

[2:17] Justin welcomes Kate Fazzini to RIMScast!

[2:25] Kate shares her insights on the Dec. 14th Google outage (that impacted Google Docs and Youtube) and whether Google reacted in a way that she would’ve advised.

[4:35] Does Kate feel that this Google outage and how the public reacted is indicative of how dependent we are on the company and other big providers?

[7:32] Kate’s predictions on what these sorts of outages will lead to.

[8:56] Kate shares her thoughts and insights on the fairly recent New York State DMV text message phishing scam.

[11:20] Why people are more vulnerable to scams more than ever this year, and the practices you can put in place to not put yourself at risk.

[12:53] In early December it was announced that government agencies were hacked by suspected Russian hackers. Kate outlines the details of this hacking and why this story interests her.

[15:48] If a risk leader were to experience a cyber breach in their company, what advice would Kate give them? In particular, what could they do to establish the messaging of their organization?

[17:44] Following a breach, how would a risk leader determine how quickly they should be putting out their message?

[20:01] Does Kate predict that more cybersecurity specialists may be getting more calls in 2021? And what are some of the ways companies can mitigate cyber risks?

[21:26] Justin congratulates Kate on her new book, Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime.

[21:43] What was it like to work a full-time job and write an entire novel?

[22:32] About the new book Kate is currently working on.

[23:20] Kate shares some parting words of wisdom for the global risk community for 2021 and beyond.

[24:03] Does Kate think that the COVID-19 vaccine may tie into any future scams?

[24:56] What does Kate think is next for somebody like Chris Krebs (the former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security?)

[27:03] Justin thanks Kate for joining RIMScast and shares some of the links to check out in this episode’s show notes.


Mentioned in this Episode:

RIMS ERM Conference 2020 — Access the On-Demand Sessions! — Available through January 5th, 2021

RIMS Risk Forum 2020 India — Register for On-Demand Content!

RIMScast — More Cybersecurity Interviews

Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime, by Kate Fazzini

Flore Albo LLC

“New York State DMV Warns of Text Message Phishing Scam”

RIMS Webinars and Services:

RIMS Webinar: Jan. 28th, 2021 “Strengthening Risk Management Capabilities to Navigate Social & Economic Concerns in Nigeria” — Register Today!

RIMS Advisory Services — Ask a Peer

On-Demand Webinars

RIMS Content and Offerings:

RIMS Coronavirus Information Center

Risk Management magazine

Risk Management Monitor:

“NCSA and NASDAQ Advise Risk Managers to Look ‘Beyond IT’ Following a Breach”

“10 Lessons Learned from Breach Response Experts”

“Do You Speak Digital?”

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)


RIMS and Marsh Study: “Excellence in Risk Management India 2020”

Marsh/RIMS Study: “Pandemic, Cyber-Attacks, and Data Fraud Remain Top Risk Concerns for Indian Companies”

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

Download any episode of RIMScast.


Want to Learn More?

Keep up with the podcast on and listen on iTunes.

Have a question or suggestion? Email:


Join the Conversation!

Follow @RIMSorg on Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Follow up with Our Guest:

Kate Fazzini’s LinkedIn

Company: Flore Albo LLC


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“[With] COVID-19, people are going to be very desperate to get their tax return back. They’re going to be more … emotionally involved … if they get bills that they’re not expecting. The way … scammers make their money is by getting you emotionally involved.” — Kate Fazzini


“This time of year, combined with what we’ve been through this year, people are just going to have to be twice as vigilant.” — Kate Fazzini


“[Risk leaders] are going to need to come up with what their response is going to be to [cyberbreaches]. And that can be difficult when we know so little information.” — Kate Fazzini


“I think that anybody in [a] risk management role will need to understand how their company is responding [to a cyber breach] and be able to answer those questions.” — Kate Fazzini


“Anything will happen [in 2021] in terms of risk. … cybersecurity is going to be an enormous issue in this coming year and we’re going to see some major, major changes in how workplaces deal with it. So get ready for that. Get ready for some policy changes.” — Kate Fazzini


“Vaccine scams are going to be enormous based on what we know. One thing that worries me is that there is an enormous problem of counterfeit drugs. … Please don’t buy a Coronavirus vaccine off the internet.” — Kate Fazzini